South Korean President Park Geun-hye and Chinese President Xi Jinping met at November's Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum summit (photo: dpa)

Japan sidelined as TPP stalls and China and South Korea strengthen economic ties

South Korea and China are major exporters but have no involvement in the huge Trans-Pacific Partnership free-trade project led by Japan and the US. The TPP venture has stalled, but Seoul and Beijing have reinforced their bilateral agreements at the exclusion of Japan. China has also concluded a tariff-busting deal with Australia. The moves demonstrate President Xi Jinping’s diplomatic prowess; if TPP fails, China will have gained significant status in the region and gently moved the US into the role of a foreign military power.

THE AMBITIOUS Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) project, aimed at est...

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Dr. Stefan Lippert
Beijing’s strategy is simple and pragmatic; it gets do-able things done, whereas the TPP project suffers from a principle-driven, comprehensive approach.
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